On Sunday we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. How about The Dog Who Knew Too Much from the Chet and Bernie series? (Heart of Barkness is the latest but they can be read in any order.) The Dog Who Knew Too Much can’t be called a holiday novel, but it is the book where Chet sees snow for the first time – so it would make a great gift! (Mrs. Publicist threw in that last bit.) It starts – as my books often do – in media res.

Was I proud of Bernie or what?

True, he’d been pretty nervous going into this gig. I can always tell when Bernie’s nervous – which hardly ever happens, and never when we’re in action – because his smell sharpens a bit, although it’s still the best human smell there is, apples, bourbon, salt and pepper; but now, up on the stage, he was doing great.

“Which, um,” he was saying, “reminds me of a joke. “Sort of. Maybe not a joke,” he went on, turning a page, “more like a – “ and at that moment the whole wad of papers somehow jumped out of his hands, all the pages gliding down in different directions.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, December 15th, 2019 at 8:00 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Beginnings”

  1. B. Stover
    9:56 am on December 15th, 2019

    I love that beginning.

    The Christmas dinner at Teddy’s sounds delish!

    Good morning.

  2. Wose-The Small and Meek
    11:08 am on December 15th, 2019


    I always laugh when I read this beginning. This cover depicts Chet exactly how I pictured him in my mind, and is a favorite of mine. I really like the “illustrated” covers a lot!

    A good day to all!

  3. Wookie's and Teddy's Paw
    5:26 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Well, for those who were able to blur in for the party, I can confirm that all, including the other 22 guests (and Teddy) had a grand time last night. To answer a few questions from yesterday, first to Rio, yes, those shoeless feet are mine. To C. Hobbit, this is a longstanding affair; we have done it now for 42 years, starting in 1977. The original attendees were college connected friends, but it has diversified over the years, and now includes college friends and quilting friends. And for Ms. Wose, while I think the picture of young Theodore with the you know whats would be a great feature in any calendar, I must confess that he would not necessarily agree; those antlers were not high on his list of his most favorite things. Very definitely they were not.

  4. Wose-The Small and Meek
    6:13 pm on December 15th, 2019

    W’s&T’s Paw: When I showed Grizz the picture, he felt bad for Teddy, saying “Teddy does not look very happy wearing those”. You can assure Teddy that picture will remain in my personal collection only.

  5. Thieves!
    7:02 pm on December 15th, 2019

    What a party! A lot of the party is a blur, but we vividly recall Rio getting a running start on that long table, sliding the length of it on his belly with his mouth open, eating everything that crossed his path. Oh, and testing quilts! Teddy showed us his Quilt Testing Lab. It is start of the art.

  6. BooBear
    7:22 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Hi, guys! Mom just got back from a quick trip to Houston. Got her hair done, and had a fantastic steak dinner with friends then a limo ride through the ritziest part of Houston to see how they decorate for Christmas! So impressive and so much fun!

    Sounds like Teddy’s party was wonderful! It is always so much fun to hear the menu and see the table decor.

    Mr Not So Big, doesn’t the Attendant know that you can fly with her to the sunny state? Alaska Air is very lenient about pets flying.

    Did anyone else notice Staff’s new gravatar? I really like it!

    Wose! Mom promises the check is in the mail…. tomorrow!!

  7. Thieves!
    7:38 pm on December 15th, 2019

    We made some spending money at the party last night. W&Ts Paw paid us not to swing from any chandelier until other guests had a chance first. It was some of the hardest money we ever made, but worth it. Wose! We will send payment for the calendar. Yeep!

  8. Mr. Big
    7:51 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Boo Bear: Attendant said that if I go with her to sunny California, I would be in a carrier for 13 hours. No litter pan. No thank you. She asked me to stay and keep the dog company so she wouldn’t feel left behind. Since it is the season to be extra nice, I agreed. I am hoping Santa brings me oysters; I’d even take salmon. Maybe both if I am very, very good—it has ever happened before but maybe a Christmas miracle will occur.
    Once I learn to blur…California here I come!

  9. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    8:54 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Rose!…The check will be in the mail, someone promises!…snort!…It will come with a Christmas Card attached. So look for that in the next week or so….chuffle!..We here appreciate the heck outta you Rose! Don’t ever think we don’t. You are the best!…snort!

  10. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    8:59 pm on December 15th, 2019

    PS: I am still at Teddies place, digesting….gurgle!…To heavy to blurr back home…wheeze!….W&T’s Paw has been teaching me the in’s and out’s of criminal law 101…gah!…I do believe I’ve broken many a law in my time…shhhhhh!

  11. Wookie’s and Teddy’s Paw
    9:12 pm on December 15th, 2019

    I can attest that Rio is definitely an apt pupil. We’ve moved past habeas corpus to res ipsa loquitor.

  12. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    9:24 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Law!…Res Ipsa Loquitor. Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”. A doctrine of law that one is presumed to be negligent if a pug had exclusive control of whatever caused the injury even though there is no specific evidence of an act of negligence, and without negligence the accident would not have happened….So therefore…I am innocent of somethings if not all things…grunt!

  13. Wose-The Small and Meek
    9:29 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Aw, shucks, Rio! Hey, I didn’t know you spoke Latin!!

  14. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    9:35 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Rose!…I don’t! W&T’s Paw is teaching me!…snort!

  15. Beau - The Black Pug
    9:40 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Sneeze!….Todayz I actually got to get reception on my little tv up here in dah clouds…wheeze!…An guess wot? I got to see my belove-ed Broncos football team play dose dastardly Kansas City Chiefs…sniff!sneeze!…Well da game was played in da snowing snow an slip-sliding an bumbling da ball was everywherez…snuffle!…But dose Chiefs did a real number on my Broncos…weeep!…I am really hoping da New England (Mr Abrahams team) guys take dem outta da play-offs!…grumble! gruffle!

  16. Thieves!
    10:38 pm on December 15th, 2019

    We have been twisting rabbit ears all day for Beau. He finally got reception when we wrapped ourselves in tin foil.

  17. Beau - The Black Pug
    10:44 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Sneeze!…It is true. Dose Thieves did a very humble thing today so dat I could watch my Broncos play in dat blasted snow storm…grunt!…Dey will get points for der humbleness to be sure…sneeze!

  18. Thieves!
    10:48 pm on December 15th, 2019

    We are wondering if it was actually snowing or if it was pre-tin foil reception.

  19. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    10:53 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Thieves!…Even Mother has taken notice of your ability to humble yerselves in tin foil so that Beau could watch a really bad football game…grunt!…She has agreed to disavow the Restraining Order she has against youse both …Starting next week. So don’t plan to come over this weekend…snort!

  20. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    10:56 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Thieves!….It was real Kansas City Snow by golly…gruffle!…Slipping and slidding and dropping balls…And lots of Making Snow Angels!…snort!

  21. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    10:57 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Game!..One would really have to see it to believe it…wuffle!…A Beau-Nightmare. …yeeep!

  22. Thieves!
    11:02 pm on December 15th, 2019

    Yeep! We are making nice lists, one roll of time foil at a time. Up next! Santa!

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